Kinect Hack + Roomba = Gesture Controlled Cleaning

Paul Lilly

What we love most about the Kinect isn't the motion controlled gaming, but the innovate software hacks programmers are coming up with. One of the latest comes from researcher Akihiro Nakamura from the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan. Nakamura took the OpenNI API and developed a hack that lets users control their Roomba devices with a series of gestures, replacing the need to bend over and push buttons. It's a neat demonstration that, according to Nakamura, actually serves a purpose.

Left alone, the Roomba may miss a spot or three, a problem easily solved if you tell the Roomba exactly where to go. To get started, it first has to be calibrated, which is a simple matter of holding both arms in the air. Once that's complete, the Roomba gets to work, sucking up dirt wherever you direct it to go. Controlling it is as easy as placing one hand on your hip and pointing with the other.

There's a bit more to it than that, all of which is demonstrated in the video, but perhaps most importantly things like this are great reminders to the robot race that humans are still in charge.

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